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Ten Hag working silent miracles and Arsenal at 9) in ranking of current Premier League injury crises

Ten Hag working silent miracles and Arsenal at 9) in ranking of current Premier League injury crises

This has been the season of the injury crisis but Newcastle and Spurs are taking the joke too far, with Liverpool and Arsenal both roughly mid-table.

20) West Ham
Michail Antonio (knee), Jarrod Bowen (knee), Mohammed Kudus (illness)

Neither of those knee injuries are particularly serious but David Moyes was doubtless frustrated to have to actually play Divin Mubama in the Europa League. At least he got to sub off the teenager against Backa Topola.

19) Everton
Dele (groin/hip/pelvis), Andre Gomes (heel), Amadou Onana (calf), Beto (knock)

Hands up who else forgot about Andre Gomes? Granted, Everton have a few injuries. But they are all scheduled to be back by early December with the exception of Dele, who is nevertheless ingratiating himself in first-team matters and “absorbing” all things Dyche.

18) Fulham
Rodrigo Muniz (knee), Adama Traore (hamstring), Issa Diop (ankle)

Of all the hamstrings in the world, Adama Traore’s must be among the most susceptible to strain. Marco Silva might genuinely not have realised the other two are missing.

17) Burnley
Jack Cork (knock), Aro Muric (illness), Lyle Foster (leave of absence)

“We were very fortunate that Lyle had been very open with us. From that moment we could act, as soon as he said it and showed signs of how severe it was for him. The entire support team within the club mobilised and made sure he could focus on his own recovery. In moments like this, we have to put the human first.”

Credit to Vincent Kompany, Burnley and most of all Foster, to whom we wish the very best in his continued recovery.

16) Wolves
Joe Hodge (shoulder), Pedro Neto (hamstring), Rayan Ait-Nouri (ankle)

Gary O’Neil likely considers injuries to be far below refereeing decisions on any list of things holding Wolves back this season. Pedro Neto will be welcomed back with open arms but there is “no exact timeframe” on that one and they have done alright without him really.

Wolves 'devastated' about Neto

Wolves have missed Pedro Neto

15) Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne (thigh), Mateo Kovacic (thigh), Matheus Nunes (knock)

“We are in trouble but I am not going to say, ‘Oh, we have a lot of injuries’,” said Pep Guardiola in September, hyper-aware of how any Manchester City attempt to play the world’s richest violin is received externally.

Things were worse when De Bruyne, Stones, Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva were all simultaneously out. Half the team was supposed to be missing for the Liverpool game but it turned out to be classic international break banter.

14) Aston Villa
Emi Buendia (knee), Tyrone Mings (knee), Bertrand Traore (knock)

There are a couple of season-ending knee injuries among that number but, for want of a better phrase, Aston Villa have taken them entirely in their stride. That Unai Emery has dealt so seamlessly with the situation is testament to the excellence of his coaching and squad more than anything.

13) Nottingham Forest
Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Felipe (knee), Ibrahima Sangare (illness)

With at least six more Premier League goals than any Nottingham Forest player since they earned promotion – Brennan Johnson is second – it is safe to say Taiwo Awoniyi will be missed through groin surgery.

Chris Wood and Divock Origi are carrying that burden, while Steve Cooper will cross fingers that Ibrahima Sangare’s virus does not stick around for too long.

12) Bournemouth
Tyler Adams (thigh), Alex Scott (knee), Ryan Fredericks (heel), Emiliano Marcondes (ankle), Max Aarons (thigh), Darren Randolph (illness), Lloyd Kelly (thigh)

Andoni Iraola spent more than £50m on three of those players this summer, which might help explain at least part of Bournemouth’s stuttering start. Perhaps they should stop signing people with borked knees.

Two of those problems feel at least a little bit self-inflicted, with Adams yet to properly recover from the injury he was signed with, while Scott has suffered a new knee issue unlikely to be unrelated to the one he had earlier in the season.

The Andoni Iraola revolution might have been set back months because of the absence of Emiliano Marcondes. We will never know.

11) Arsenal
Thomas Partey (thigh), Emile Smith Rowe (knee), Jurrien Timber (knee), Fabio Vieira (groin)

Fine players and doubtless considered crucial by Mikel Arteta, but seven Premier and Champions League starts between them for the side top of the former table and through to the knockouts as group winners in the latter suggests Arsenal can cope without.

10) Liverpool
Thiago (hip), Andy Robertson (shoulder), Alisson (thigh), Diogo Jota (knock), Stefan Bajcetic (calf)

Jurgen Klopp acknowledged that Liverpool “need to be lucky with injuries” in defence particularly, having opted not to sign a centre-half in the summer, but Jarell Quansah’s emergence has helped ease the load and it probably helps having Virgil van Dijk be so imperious again, even if he doesn’t fancy playing so much football.

The Manchester City draw counted Alisson and Diogo Jota among the casualties but the way Liverpool have dealt with Robertson being out offers hope. There is the basis for some sort of obscure pub quiz question concerning Thiago’s 51 Premier League starts; what a weird time.

9) Sheffield United
Chris Basham (ankle), Rhian Brewster (thigh), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh), John Egan (Achilles), Tom Davies (thigh), Daniel Jebbison (illness)

The Blades using 27 players in the Premier League – only knackered Newcastle (29) have called on more – is a clue as to their struggles with injury this season. Paul Heckingbottom’s squad is not blessed with a great deal of quality or quantity in relative terms, but solutions have had to be found.

That said, injuries can probably be ticked off any list of excuses considering most of those key names are back in the fold.

8) Crystal Palace
Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh), Eberechi Eze (ankle), James Tomkins (knock), Dean Henderson (thigh), Cheick Doucoure (Achilles)

The walking wounded may be small in number at Selhurst Park, but they are huge in significance. Ask Roy Hodgson and he’d probably only rank Jeffrey Schlupp as more important than Eberechi Eze and Cheick Doucoure.

Both were put out of action in the defeat to Luton, with Doucoure’s problem deemed far greater and potentially season-ending. After missing Michael Olise among others for so long earlier in the campaign, Hodgson might contemplate not stepping on pavement cracks or under ladders for a while.

7) Luton
Mads Andersen (thigh), Dan Potts (ankle), Reece Burke (thigh), Cauley Woodrow (calf), Albert Sambi-Lokonga (thigh), Issa Kabore (head), Marvelous Nakamba (knee)

Rob Edwards described his team as being “down to the bare bones” last month and Luton are still contending with some high-profile injuries. Andersen, Burke, Lokonga, Kabore and Nakamba are all likely starters for a club who understandably do not have any like-for-like replacements going spare.

6) Chelsea
Wesley Fofana (knee), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Romeo Lavia (ankle), Christopher Nkunku (knee), Malo Gusto (ankle), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee)

Mauricio Pochettino had hoped that Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia would be available after the international break, saying both were “in a good condition” before the Newcastle game, after which he will presumably be rushing the medical department to get them ready.

Both returning from long-term injuries means patience will be needed, which also stands for Fofana after he started running on grass again.

5) Manchester United
Casemiro (thigh), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Mason Mount (calf), Jonny Evans (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Christian Eriksen (knee), Amad (knee)

Things have undeniably eased off with the returns of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rasmus Hojlund from short-term absences, as well as Luke Shaw’s comeback from an injury which had sidelined him since August.

Erik ten Hag blamed “overload” and an “expanding schedule” for the myriad issues Manchester United have faced but the club have launched an investigation to identify any patterns into those muscular issues in particular, with Gary O’Driscoll having started as the club’s head of sports medicine in September after being poached from Arsenal.

Through it all, they have the most points of any Premier League side from October onwards. Just don’t mention the Champions League.

4) Brentford
Rico Henry (knee), Aaron Hickey (thigh), Kevin Schade (adductor), Mikkel Damsgaard (knee), Josh Dasilva (thigh), Nathan Collins (ankle), Mathias Jensen (knock), Mads Roerslev (knock)

There are longer absentee lists out there, particularly when adding the suspended Ivan Toney, who won’t be returning until January at the earliest. But in Henry, Hickey and Toney, Brentford have three certain starters on the sidelines and a squad otherwise impacted quite profoundly.

Thomas Frank would be hard pushed to identify a player who has not missed at least one game through injury this season. The manager has said that even goalkeeping coach Manu Sotelo “got a mark” in an altercation with Nottingham Forest’s groundstaff before their draw in October.

3) Brighton
Julio Enciso (knee), Pervis Estupinan (thigh), James Milner (muscle), Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Solly March (knee), Tariq Lamptey (thigh), Ansu Fati (thigh), Adam Webster (knock)

Roberto De Zerbi would likely blame those pesky English referees for having their phallic-like qualities remarked upon by Lewis Dunk, or punishing Mahmoud Dahoud stamps with straight red cards, but those two suspensions are helping push Brighton’s squad to breaking point.

The Seagulls have emerged from the latest international break with a couple of hard-earned victories but the defence which finished that Nottingham Forest victory tells a story: Gross, Van Hecke, Veltman, Hinshelwood. The manager says they still “have enough to compete” but it’s far from comfortable.

2) Tottenham
Ivan Perisic (knee), Micky van de Ven (thigh), James Maddison (ankle), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Manor Solomon (knee), Richarlison (groin), Alfie Whiteman (ankle), Rodrigo Bentancur (ankle), Pape Sarr (knock)

Some incredibly online Spurs fans have suggested retributive justice be taken out on Matty Cash when Ange’s boys visit Villa Park in March, the defender having put Rodrigo Bentancur back on the shelf from which he had only recently climbed down.

A significant number of those problems are scheduled to stretch well into 2024 and the suspension of Cristian Romero is unlikely to help as Spurs try and pull themselves out of their current slump.

With the way things are going, Harry Kane’s traditional mid-season ankle injury might have permanently banished him to the shadow realm if he had stayed.

1) Newcastle
Jacob Murphy (shoulder), Dan Burn (back), Elliot Anderson (back), Sven Botman (knee), Harvey Barnes (foot), Callum Wilson (hamstring), Sean Longstaff (ankle), Joe Willock (Achilles), Javier Manquillo (groin), Matt Targett (thigh)

It has gone almost entirely under the radar that Newcastle are missing a few players. There is every chance this is the first you’re hearing of it. Credit to them for keeping what Eddie Howe has called a “unique” situation under wraps.

The Magpies might be missing a solid enough XI of players – Sean Longstaff can go in net; he’s tall – but they have produced a thrilling win over Chelsea and should have nicked three points from PSG in the Champions League. Their bench for that match told the story: Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett, Loris Karius, Lewis Hall, Michael Ndiweni, James Huntley and Ben Parkinson. Weird that none of them were trusted to see the game out.

And things just got a whole lot worse.

Looks like Dubravka is starting against Man U. https://t.co/LJPjD3h7It pic.twitter.com/SKXMkSFaO9

— Xraystan (@Xraystan) November 30, 2023

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